Top Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs in 2022


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    Hello there, welcome to an exciting read about Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs!

    In this piece, we’ll break down all there is to know about ACNP Programs.

    We promise to help you understand what set Acute Care Nurse Practitioners apart from other Nurse Practitioners, learn the best AGANCP Programs, and how to know accredited ACNP Programs.

    We’ll shed light on the following:

    Introduction to ACNP Programs
    Admission Requirement
    ACNP Nursing Career
    Degree Options and Coursework for becoming an ACNP Nurse

    Without wasting time, let’s delve right in!

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      Introduction to ACNP Programs

      Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNPs) also called Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Nurses who provide patient care ranging from disease prevention to acute care management.

      The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program prepares Nurses to provide advanced practice in acute care settings by focusing on the care of acutely or critically ill patients. 

      They also cater for the complex chronically ill patients and their family members in high-acuity specialty areas.

      These high-acuity specialty areas are emergency rooms and trauma centers, critical care, Intensive Care Units, general surgery, plastic surgery, trauma surgery, and Hospital Medicine Units.

      Patients are frequently followed from the hospital to the outpatient setting by Practitioners.

      If you are contemplating how to become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner you must first complete an accredited BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), Post-Master’s Certificate Program, or Post-Graduate Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program.

      Nurse Practitioner Programs in acute care assist Nurses in preparing to support and care for acutely or critically ill patients.

      Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Programs, which include Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs, are approved by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education).

      Also, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) only offers ACNP-BC renewals, while the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers many Acute Nurse Practitioner Certifications for Registered Nurses (RNs), Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in adult, neonatal, and gerontology.

      The role of an ACNP (Acute Care Nurse Practitioner) is frequently confused with that of a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

      However, ACNPs see patients when they are sick with chronic illness, confined to the Hospital Care Units, or following a surgical operation or trauma.

      Some interesting facts about Acute Care Nurse Practitioners, according to the AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners):

      • Cardiovascular, Critical care, and hospitalist are the top clinical focus sectors for Nurse Practitioners certified in acute care adult-gerontology
      • Hospital Outpatient Clinics and Hospital Inpatient Units are the most common practice settings for Nurse Practitioners certified in acute care adult-gerontology
      • Heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension are the most common diagnoses regaled by AGACNPs

      We have compiled a list of the best programs for 2022 to assist you in making your choice.

      Degree Options for Becoming an ACNP

      MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

      The total cost of finishing an MSN Program to evolve as an ACNP ranges from $9,650 to $91,800, leaning on the institution and type of Nursing program selected.

      MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

      Program Length

      Depending on your existing level of education, hybrid, on-campus, and online ACNP Programs can take anywhere from eighteen months to forty-eight months to finish.


      The curriculum of an ACNP Program will teach you how to deliver an in-depth understanding of the management of complex health issues and pathophysiology,  diagnose patients with acute and chronic illnesses, and help you better comprehend the discrepancies between the various aspects of countless illnesses so that you can more effectively manage them.

      In addition, unpaid clinical placements or training are expected, but state regulations differ.

      DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

      The price of a degree program in DNP ranges from $14,400 to $135,600, relying on the state, school, and number of required courses.

      Program Duration

      DNP Programs differ greatly in length according to the degree you may already possess and the format you select.

      A DNP Program typically takes between thirty-six to seventy-two months to complete.


      The curriculum of the DNP degree program is conceived to offer you superior knowledge in hospital-majored medical and surgical Intensive Care Unit care,  acute care, and a variety of specialist services, permitting you to advance your career.

      You will likewise discover how to use a medley of life and medical support devices in order to diagnose and treat individuals, family members, and whole communities.

      You will even be expected to partake in unpaid clinical placements where you will function with patients under the charge of a Physician or a Certified ACNP to assess your abilities to offer patient care.

      Post-MSN Certificates

      Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

      Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners have the task of diagnosing, assessing, and treating common acute illnesses in addition to managing stable chronic problems.

      What You Can Expect to Learn in an AGACNP Program

      You must first evolve as a Registered Nurse by completing either a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) and then satisfy the required clinical hours and clinical experience before you can become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

      Either Nurses that are ADN-prepared must conclude an RN-to-BSN degree program prior to continuing their education, or they must enlist in an RN-to-NP Program where they can gain both degree programs together.

      Program Requirements

      Despite the fact that each Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Nursing Program is unique, the majority have almost the same entry requirements, including:

      • At least twelve months of bedside experience and clinical practice in acute care
      • Completion of an undergraduate statistics course with a minimum C in grade
      • GRE if relevant
      • Professional curriculum vitae or resume
      • The successful culmination of an accredited bachelor’s degree program with a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale GPA
      Program Requirements
      • Authorized transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
      • Fulfillment of a confidential interview with the Nursing Admissions Committee with flying colors
      • TOEFL result if applicable
      • One to three references (professional)
      • A valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse licensure in the state of practice (Some programs will demand an RN license in the program’s state)
      • Professional objective statement for nursing career and graduate study

      What to Anticipate from a Nurse Practitioner Program in Acute Care

      The core competencies and framework established by the AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) for Nurse Practitioners are adhered to by Acute Care NP Programs.

      The competencies are:

      • Practice Inquiry
      • Health Care Delivery System
      • Scientific Foundation
      • Leadership
      • Information Literacy and Technology
      • Quality
      • Ethics
      • Independent Practice
      • Policy

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Courseworks

      Typical coursework in an Acute Care NP Program includes the following:

      • Clinical Practicums
      • Evidence-Based Practice
      • Family and Child Development
      • Advanced Pathophysiology
      • Health Informatics
      • Advanced Pharmacology
      • Clinical Decision-Making and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nurse in Acute Care
      • Advanced Physical Assessment
      • Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse
      • Legal, Ethical Dimensions, and Health Policy of Practice
      • Critical Decision Making and Leadership

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs Fee

      Costs for Acute Care NP Programs differ greatly.

      The variables include location, school, in-person versus online education, and final degree.

      Depending on the program, the cost for every credit hour can range from $499 to $2,100 per credit hour.

      The total number of credit hours required varies between 34 and 60 for various programs.

      This indicates that the total cost of an ACNP Program can range from $16,966 to $126,000.

      Doctoral degree programs are typically more costly than MSN Programs, in detail because they require more credits overall.

      In addition to tuition, there are lab fees, program fees, course materials, and other costs.

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Duration

      In addition to a minimum of 500 clinical hours, entire credit hours range from 34 to 60 counting on the program.

      All Nurse Practitioners must complete the aforementioned number of clinical hours, according to the AANPCP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

      However, some programs and states may require more.

      The number of required credit hours will be higher if a student gains their DNP degree through the program.

      At least 1,000 hours in clinical practice are required for DNP Programs.

      Most programs take twenty-four to thirty-six months to complete and can be done full-time or part-time.

      The duration of the program can also be determined by whether it is an online course or offered in person.

      The majority of programs give scholars up to sixty months to finish.

      Finishing a program is dependent on a number of factors, including whether or not you may be a working student during the program.

      AGACNP Program Accreditation

      You’ll want to make sure an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program has been accredited by one of the two main accreditation organizations in the US, which are as follows:

      • The CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) is an organization that promotes Nursing education at the university level

      Ths body is the spokesperson for academic nursing in the United States and donates to public health safety.

      AGACNP Program Accreditation

      This accreditation commission believes that national programs should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that all nursing scholars receive a high-quality education.

      • The ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing), formerly the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission), is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting nursing education and ensuring that it is delivered in a dependable, safe, and uniform manner

      Choosing the Best Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program

      Choosing the right Acute Care NP Program could be difficult, particularly with the growing number of options available across the country.

      For those who are unfit to relocate, programs offered online have provided entrance to top-tier degree programs.

      Understanding whether your state allows scholars to enlist into distance education programs and thus partake in clinical practicums inside the state is the most important factor to consider when choosing a program.

      Check with the Board of Nursing n your state to see if this is permitted in your state.

      The requirements for licensure vary by state and professional organization.

      You can also reach out to the University’s Student Affairs and Office of Enrollment if you have any questions about state eligibility.

      List of Acute Care Nurse practitioner Programs

      The University of Maryland in Baltimore

      Programs Delivered: Post-Doctoral Certificate and DNP

      DNP Attention: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      Post-Doctoral Certificate Attention: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      Rush University in Chicago

      Programs Delivered: Post-Graduate Certificate, Postdoctoral Certificate, and DNP

      Post-Graduate Certificate Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

      DNP Attention: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

      Post-Doctoral Certificate Attention: Acute Care Adult-Gerontology

      School of Nursing in Duke University, Durham

      Programs Offered: BSN to DNP, Post-Graduate Certificate, and MSN

      Post-Graduate Certificate Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

      BSN to DNP Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

      MSN Attention: Acute Care and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care

      Columbia University in New York City

      Programs Delivered: Post-BS DNP

      Post-BSN to DNP Attention: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      The University of Iowa in Iowa City

      Programs Offered: MSN to DNP, Post-Graduate Certificate, and BSN to DNP

      MSN to DNP Attention: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care (NP/Post MSN) and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (NP/Post MSN)

      BSN to DNP Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, and Dual (Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Adult-Gerontology/Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric/Family Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gero/Family Acute Care NP, and Acute Care Pediatric Primary Nurse Practitioner)

      Post-Graduate Certificate Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Certificate and Acute Care Adult/Gero Certificate

      The University of South Alabama in Mobile

      Programs Offered: BSN to DNP, MSN, Post-Graduate Certificate, and MSN to DNP (MSN to DNP for Advanced Nursing Practice Roles & MSN to DNP for adding a new Specialty Certification Area)

      BSN to DNP Attention: Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP),  Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      The University of South Alabama in Mobile

      MSN Attention: Dual Role (Family Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner), Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, and Pediatric Acute Care NP

      Post-Graduate Certificate Attention: Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP), Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, and Pediatric Acute Care NP

      MSN to DNP Attention: Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP), Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP, and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia

      Programs Delivered: Post-Graduate APRN Certificate and MSN

      Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Attention: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      MSN Attention: Pediatric Acute Care and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care

      The University of Miami in Coral Gables

      Programs Delivered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

      Post-Master’s Certificate Attention: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      MSN Attention: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP

      Drexel University in Philadelphia

      Programs Delivered: Post-Master’s Certificate and MSN

      MSN Attentions: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Acute Care/Pediatric Primary Nurse Practitioner Dual Program

      Post-Master’s Certificate Attentions: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, and Pediatric Primary Care and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

      Programs Offered: MSN, Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Certificate, and BSN to DNP

      MSN Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      Post-Master’s Advanced Practice Certificate Attention: Acute Care Pediatric NP and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP

      BSN to DNP Attention: Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

      Online AGACNP Programs

      Here are some colleges of Nursing with Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Programs Online:

      The Capella University

      Capella has CCNE-accredited programs, including the FlexPath program, which allows you to set your own learning pace.

      The Higher Learning Commission has granted Capella University accreditation.

      Admission Requirement: MSN

      Grand Canyon University

      The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at GCU has a nearly 35-year history of teaching students to serve as highly prepared healthcare professionals in jobs that are constantly expanding.

      Purdue Global

      Discover at Purdue Global a quicker and more inexpensive path to earning your Nursing degree.

      Purdue Global is dedicated to keeping your tuition fees as low as possible and assisting you in locating the quickest route to a degree.

      Walden University

      The Higher Learning Commission accredits Walden, which has assisted students in attaining degrees for more than forty years and is accredited by the agency.

      The teaching faculty of the School of Nursing all possess doctorates, and Walden’s Online Nursing Programs exceed integrity criteria and high academic quality.

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Career

      Between 2017 and 2027, the need for Nurse Practitioners is predicted to skyrocket, and demand for Acute Care NPs is anticipated to follow suit.

      There were 155,600 Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs, FNPs, and the rest) employed in the United States in 2017, and there will be 211,700 by 2027.

      Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Career

      The accumulation of over 56,200 Nurse Practitioners in the US healthcare system is a 35.9 percent increase, proposed to be fueled by a variety of variables.

      The expanding population together with the need for people to access more inexpensive healthcare is the key driving reason behind the rise in the coming years.


      ACNPs act as advocates and points of contact for patients and their family members.

      The ACNP job blends evidence-based clinical practice with education, research, leadership, and consultation to offer cost-effective, high-quality patient care.

      This profession provides several options for education and advancement, as well as autonomy and challenging workdays.




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